Hi there, first of all sorry for being late in my defence am so busy that it’s a miracle I got the time to write. For compensation am posting not only two but long chapters too. Sammy I hope I have delivered what u wanted for ur bday n Ritu I hope I have cleared my debt. Thank u all for ur patients, love n support.
So here it’s something to get u Th for the weekend or the week for I really don’t know when am going to post the next. Enjoy…..
“am going to die and it’s going to be painful” she told herself, who said u can’t live a life in a short while Radhika lived hers in seconds. The adrenaline had set in, it was already circulating in her blood, her blood pressure rose as a certain unknown chillness ran across her spine forming small drop of sweats on her forehead. She could see perfectly the car approaching towards her and could clearly make out it was going to kill her, the whirr of the speeding engine filled her ears but her throat was so tight that she couldn’t make a sound, dhak-dhak-dhak-dhak-dhak pounded her heart like a mad man crazily pounding on a door. Something wet sting her eyes and slowly blurred her vision and the light became so bright that she couldn’t see anything else “this is it” her mind reminded her and her will to survive gave up right on the spot.
A sudden tug back made her feel a cold wind passing her by as painful breath escaped her mouth, she was pulled back and her back met with a cold metal followed by a bang sound as her elbow made a dent on the car parked near the curbside. As her senses started to rush in back to her body she felt two strong arms holding her by the shoulders “are u okay?” she heard a shaky male voice ask but couldn’t see who it was. Slowly her vision cleared and she saw a familiar face looking worriedly at her, she wasn’t okay but nodded anyway to assure him that she was fine bcoz she couldn’t stand tears in his eyes. She was pulled to his chest and held tightly there as he wept, she tried to hold him too, she too wanted to hug him and feel a human flesh as a remainder that she was still alive but her shaky hands couldn’t master enough energy and lay lifelessly in his arms.
Arjun cried his heart out, a second ago he thought he was going to lose her, he needed to make sure that he was holdings her, his Radhika and not her mirage. He held her as tight as he could almost crushing her in his strong arms, he needed to feel her skin, smell her scent, see her face, hear her voice. He broke the hug and saw that she was still shaken, her palms were as cold as ice, her eyes were wet and she didn’t look like herself. Picking her up in his arms he walked with her to the elevator not putting her down even for second and his gaze stayed glued on her face.
Neil opened the door to a distraught Arjun holding a hurt Radhika “what happened to Chashni?” he asked seeing red scratch marks on her hands and feet and visible blood drops on her hands. Neil’s worry filled voice got Sam’s immediate attention, she rushed from the kitchen and froze seeing Radhika in that condition, just hours ago she got her best friend and sister back what kind of bad luck is this, she thought.
“where is her room?” asked Arjun looking at Sam who was still frozen in shock and couldn’t respond “Sam…” he shouted getting her attention “bedroom…?” Sam pointed towards her left and Arjun got his feet going towards her bedroom.
Laying her on her bed he was trying to find the first aid box when she held his hand “am fine Arjun” she said in assurance but he ignored her words and took his hand from her hold. She sat leaning on the headboard while he cleaned her wounds, Sam and Neil came in and Sam asked if she should call a doctor “no need Sam am fine” Radhika answered instantly only to be get an angry stare from Arjun. Seeing Arjun trembling hands Sam took the cotton ball from him and sat on the bed cleaning Radhika wounds who was wincing in pain every time the antiseptic touched her tender skin. Looking at Arjun who was standing behind Sam she said “am fine Arjun really… it’s just scratches”
“just scratches?” he shouted “do u know what could have happened?… u could have…” the tears that he had stopped with great difficulty threatened to wet his face again but were already flowing from Radhika’s eyes seeing Arjun that hurt.
Sam: “stop it Arjun, can’t u see she is hurt?”
Neil: “what exactly happened down there?”
Before Radhika could answer Arjun did “she was almost hit by a car… I don’t even want to think what would have happened if I wasn’t there on time… thank God I forgot my phone and drove back”
Sam wiped Radhika’s tears after finishing cleaning her wounds “u don’t have to be scared, am here with u” she said and hugged her tight, she also hugged her back but her eyes stayed with Arjun.
Arjun who was expressing his worry in a form of anger asked her “what the hell where u doing on the middle of the road… couldn’t u think about us… what would have happened to us if u met with that accident…?” Neil held Arjun’s shoulder calming him down.
“It was not an accident” said Radhika in a low voice “it was not an accident Arjun” she repeated her words and when Sam asked her what was she talking about she told them everything about the old lady and about her being pushed on the road. Sam was now double scared and hugged her again not wanting to lose her.
Arjun’s anger melted and turned into panic “did u see her face… did u see how she looked like…?”
Radhika tried to recall but couldn’t “I didn’t pay attention to her face… but now that I think about, with the strength she pushed me I don’t think she was an elderly woman”
Neil: “someone disguised as an old woman tried to harm u?”
Sam: “but who would want to hurt Radhika and why?”
Silence, agonizing silence overtook them, it was clear now the attack on her life was intentional, her life was in danger. Sam held Radhika’s hand tightly not wanting to leave her, Arjun was calculating the possible motive while Neil stood quietly lost in his own thoughts “let’s not tell anybody about this, especially not my parents… they will just worry uncessarily” said Radhika but none of them replied and the night was was lost like that in silence.
During the wee hours of the Sunday morning Sam woke up from her nap, she had slept holding Radhika’s hand and both the girls had slept in a sitting position. Sam stretched herself and walked out of the room, Arjun was sleeping on the couch and Neil was standing in the balcony, she walked up to him and placed her hand on his shoulder bringing him out of his lost world. “coffee… ?” and seeing his tired eyes like a person who hadn’t slept a wink for the entire night “looks like u need it… will go make coffee for us” she said and turned to leave but Neil held her hand stopping her and slowly tugging her back to himself and hugged her out of the blue shocking her “Neil are u okay?” she asked worriedly but soon felt her shoulder wetting with his tears and kept quiet gently rubbing his back till he calmed down.
When he was calm, Sam broke the hug and closed the balcony door so their talk could be private, Neil felt more relaxed with hers that act and decided to share his worries with her. Staring again to nothing in particular he spoke “Radhika’s accident… I think dad did it”
Sam was shocked beyond the word shock “you… your dad?… your dad Pranay uncle?”
Neil nodded “my dad is not as good as everyone thinks… he is a devil in disguise”
Sam: “Neil, that’s your father u are talking about”
Neil: “I know and I know him very well, he can do something like this… I just don’t know how I will face Chashni if it was him”
Sam cupped his face “calm down Neil, don’t jump into conclusions just yet… let Arjun find out who is responsible first… did u tell him?” Neil nodded in negative “then tell him and let him investigate” Neil agreed to talk to Arjun but before that he was going to talk to his father first.
Arjun awaken by the sound of the closing balcony door went to check on Radhika and saw her sleeping in the sitting position, thinking of supporting her head with a pillow he went near. He carefully adjusted the pillow on the back of her head without disturbing her sleep, he sat on the edge of the bed admiring her beauty and leaned in to peck her forehead when Radhika lazily opened her eyelids surprised to see Arjun’s face so close to hers. Arjun who was not expecting her to open her eyes anytime soon froze in that same position and they stayed like that staring at each other for a minute “am sorry” said Arjun and averted his face.
Radhika without a word looped her arms around his neck hugging him tight “am sorry I scared u… I didn’t mean to” she said in a low voice, she knew he was scared bcoz it was the first time in yrs that she had seen tears in his eyes, she had seen him cry when his mother died and she saw that same pain again in his eyes last night.
Arjun also hugged her tight almost picking her up from the bed “am sorry I scolded u” he said before breaking the hug. He cupped her face “why don’t u go back to States” though it would hurt but he would rather have her far than have her close but in danger “Jai is here he can take care of things”
Radhika smiled and placed her hand on his that was on her face “a week ago I would have left but not today… I am not leaving again”
Arjun: “your life is in danger, what if u get attacked again… I will die without u”
Radhika: “don’t talk about dying please… and am not going anywhere… as long as I have u am not scared”
“and u have us too” said Neil and Sam in unison, though fear was still residing in their hearts they had a certain calmness in them for they knew together they can face anything, there was no room for defeat.
Arjun parked his car outside the residence and took a deep breath before guiding his steps towards the entrance, he was going to question Kabir and knew it wasn’t going to be easy with the whole family present but he had to do it bcoz he didn’t want to waste time. Mala was surprised to open the door to him “what a pleasant surprise, come in” she said and ushered him in. “how is Priya and your dad?” asked Mala as she gave him coffee.
Arjun took a sip of his coffee “we are all fine, thank u” after a short exchange of pleasantries Arjun spoke “I need to talk to Kabir… can u call him for me please”
Mala: “he is not home, even Ankush left with Dilip… it’s just me Ridhi home” Ridhima came from her bedroom and greeted Arjun “dear, call Kabir and tell him Arjun in here for him… ask him if he can head back soon” said Mala and went to the kitchen.
Ridhima had a grave expression hearing that Arjun was there for Kabir, she quickly tried to hide it but it was too late Arjun had already noticed it. “he will be here in half an hour” she told him when she ended the call. “what is it… why are u looking at me like that…?”
Arjun: “take a seat please” Ridhima sat down and asked the same question again “u tell me what is it, seems like u know something… care to share?”
Ridhima: “I don’t have anything to say to u”
Arjun: “u do know why am here, right?… am here to question Kabir about your nanaji’s death… about how he got the keys of the Westminster house and events related to that”
Ridhima: “I know about the keys, Samrat uncle had forgotten them in his office and Kabir happened to find them thats it”
She was trying to convince him but she herself sounded unconvinced “is that what he told u?” he asked and she nodded positive “but Samrat uncle told me a totally different version of it and am not talking about his losing the keys lie… one of them is lying and am here to find out who” Ridhima insisted that her husband wasn’t lying and its probably Samrat who was on the wrong end. Arjun knelt near her and placed his hand over hers “u can trust me di” he spoke earnestly for he could see she was holding back something, Ridhima looked at his honest eyes and knew she could trust him but she wasn’t going to mistrust her husband again, rolling her fingers into a fist she pulled her hand away from his and averted her gaze only to meet with Kabir’s.
Ridhima excused herself and Arjun took his seat back, crossing his legs Kabir adorned a disinterested expression on his face “to what do I owe this honour”
Arjun sipped his coffee that was now turning cold and put the mug back on the table separating them “u know why am here, hasn’t your partner in crime Samrat told u anything?”
Kabir smirked “I don’t have a partner and if I had one I wouldn’t associate myself with an addict… he is so deep drowned in gambling that is impossible to save him”
Arjun: that’s why u blackmailed him bcoz u knew he would give u his house rather than leave gambling… and by the way when was the last time u have been to Westminster?”
Kabir: “I have never been to that house… I only blackmailed to see if I could get him out of his addiction but my tactic was wrong… as u said he was willing to lose the house rather than get out of that dirty mess”
Arjun: “and how did his faher found out about Samrat’s problem?”
Kabir: “I didn’t tell him if that is what u are thinking… I just saw Samrat uncle so disturbed that day and decided to follow him but he was just worried about some debt he had with a certain casino owner”
Arjun: “where were u that night when Amrish Khanna was murdered?”
Kabir taking his cellphone out of his pants pocket and pretending as if he got a very important message that Arjun didn’t hear beep answered “I was on the dancing with my wife… u can ask her if u want”
Arjun could see that he was lying, he lied in almost his every answer and the way he tried to avoid his gaze on his last question said it all. Arjun concluded that he was used to lying, he could even be pathological liar for it was obvious that he had himself prepared for Arjun’s every question but wasn’t prepared to be asked about Amrish’s murder that’s why he looked at his phone while answering that question. This kind of people can pass a polygraph test but cant pass detective Mehra’s keen eye, he had to break him the same way he broke Samrat and for that he needed solid evidence against him and against his lies and Ridhima’s confession was among those evidence so he had to come up with a plan that can make her talk. “I need u to come to the station tomorrow, we need to take your fingerprints to rule u out of suspicion… 99% is done we just need to complete the formalities and u will be free of me for good” he lied just like Kabir did and bid took his leave.
Kabir on the other end smiled that he could make Arjun believe on his lies “not as tough as people say” he remarked rejoicing over his victory but little did he know that the countdown against his lies had just started and it was a matter of time to his fall.
Neil went back home, his mind filled with different menacing thoughts, his heart wanted to believe in his father but his mind and concious wouldn’t let him. He knew his father really well, he had seen the worse side of him that nobody knew, as long as things went the way he wanted Pranay was a lovable understanding man but once he doesn’t get what he wants he turns into a vicious calculating man that can do anything and absolutely anything to get his way.
When Neil was in his early teens he witnessed his father chocking a man in their living room, with his and Prena’s help they were able to save that poor man whose only guilt was denying him his signature to approve one of the projects he was working on and that day for the first time he saw a side to his father that he could never fathom. Since that day he has been keeping an eye on his father and his deeds and he had to save many from his wrath but like everytime his mother would help in saving the day, she was the only person who could calm his father’s temper down.
He knew how badly his father wanted the presidency and how hurt he was when he lost his chance, he saw the way he looked at Radhika and heard what he said against her when he came home that day. Pranay called Radhika an ungrateful blood sucking b***h who deserves the worst punishment in hell for accepting a victory that was never hers on the first place and coincidently Radhika left the house the next day and knew his father must have had his hand in that too.
Prena and Pranay were having breakfast when he got home, Prena called him to the table and served him delicious pancakes that he loved “Radhika was attacked yesterday” he said before taking a bite and observed his dad’s reaction. Prena shocked by the news asked if she was okay but Pranay didn’t even flinch let alone leave his breakfast “u don’t look surprised?” he asked looking at his father.
Pranay: “what is there to be surprised about?… I wouldn’t be surprised if she died”
Prena: “Pranay!… dont say that please”
Neil: “I know that but I want to know if it was u… did u try to kill her?”
Pranay: “what would killing her get me?… she is not of any use to me neither dead nor alive”
Prena looked on as the father and son threw harsh words at each other, she sat helplessly not knowing how to tackle the situation but she knew one thing it was time to tell Neil the truth and this time she will not think of the consequences.
Ankush, Dilip and Mala went to visit Radhika in her new house and spent the entire day with her, Mala cooked for her, Ankush brought her chocolates and played a long game of chess with her father Dilip. When asked about her scratches she lied that she fell on the stairs when racing with Sam and though Mala reprimanded her she later showered her with so much affection that Radhika could say it was Sunday well spent.
Sam entered carrying a small suitcase using her own set of keys surprising Radhika “I took the spare keys” she announced grinning wide causing Radhika to roll her eyes at her “am sleeping here for the night” she finished and went to hug Mala.
Mala happy with Sam’s decision pecked Sam’s cheek causing Sam to show her tongue to Radhika “now that u are here I won’t worry about choti” she said happily.
Radhika: “u will be worry free but I wont… she will chew my brains off with her stupid talks”
Sam: “don’t worry aunty she is just jealous of our bond and I will take very good care of choti”
Radhika’s family bid their goodbyes and took leave, as soon as they left the doorbell rang, Neil holding a small travel bag entered and upon getting questioning looks from both girls he said “am sleeping here for the night” and went to keep his bag in the other bedroom.
Radhika turned to Sam ready to tease her “can’t stay away from each other right?… that’s why u called him here” she cocked her eyebrow up at her in a questioning manner but Sam just ignored her and went about her work. Radhika wasn’t satisfied with Sam’s reaction so she pried more “oh! I get it… it’s last night effects… I hope the pantry room was cosy enough for u two… so tell me what did u two do”
Sam: “my dear piggy… what happens behind closed doors… stays behind closed doors”
Just the Neil came out and asked them what they were talking about and Radhika immediately answered “you… we were talking about u” when Neil asked what they were talking about him Radhika who was on a teasing mood continued “about your love life… well one of my friends likes u very much and wants to be your girlfriend”
Neil: “if that friend is anything like those girls at the party last night then forget it”
Radhika: “and if she is like Sam?” Sam jaw dropped to the floor while Neil blushed pink “I mean… what if she is smart and beautiful… would u like a girl who is just like Sam?” Neil’s answer was interrupted by a ring of the doorbell and he quickly went to answer while Sam threw a pillow at Radhika for her big mouth. Neil opened the door for Arjun who had also come with a small bag filled with his clothes. “let me guess, u will be sleeping here tonight”
Arjun nodded causing Radhika to sigh while Neil and Sam laughed, they all came together each at their own time but all had one thing in mind and that was to protect their friend. They later had dinner together and praised Mala for her cooking skills, Radhika didn’t stop teasing Neil and Sam every now and then resulting in Neil suggesting they watch a scary movie before going to bed bcoz he knew Radhika was terrified of scary movies but she couldn’t escape when Neil and Sam made sure she watched it by holding her each hand throughout the movie.
Kensington Police Station
Arjun was frustrated, Kabir’s fingerprints didn’t match with the one they collected in Westminster, he had practically come to a dead end and his chief was demanding answers from him. He sat in his cabin going over the evidence once again trying to find out something he might have missed earlier but like every time he would come up with a big fat nothing, he had is head buried in his hands when he heard a familiar voice “may I come in” said Radhika smiling at him.
All his stress was washed away from him with her one glance and he felt rejuvinated with her one smile she offered him “come in Radhika… and what a surprise” Radhika sat facing him and asked him how he was “am fine now that I saw u” then the gleam in his eyes was replaced by worry “did u come here alone… did something happen… are u fine…?”
Radhika: “slow down… am fine… how can I come here alone when I have your officer friend following me around… and please stop that, am not in any danger”
Arjun sighed “well if u found out then he is not doing a very good job following u”
Radhika: “but something did happen… I received this in the office today” she said as she took some paper from his purse and handed them to Arjun who started reading them immediately “thats nanaji’s bank account statement… the bank sent it to me since I own it now”
Arjun: “I can see that but what has this got to do with anything?”
Radhika: “impatient arent u?… from December last year till April this year… thats three months ago… nanaji has been depositing money to some Bryan Wolf… and its not a small amount collectively is about 45 thousands pounds… so I took Trudeau’s help and I found out that Bryan Wolf is a private investigator… nanaji had hired a P.I. and the question is why”
Arjun smiled, Radhika was talking as a detective herself, after a few calls he was able to get Bryan Wolf’s cellphone number and dialled him. The call was answered in two ring “hello…” came an Irish accent from the other end.
Arjun: “hello Mr. Wolf… am detective Mehra of the Met police… am calling to ask u about Amrish Khanna… its my knowledge that he was your client and want to know if what he asked u to find out has anything to do with his death”
Wolf: “it has everything to do with his death… frankly I was waiting for your call the moment I saw the news of his death… I knew that bastard will kill him… I warned him about the danger but Mr. Khanna wanted to play with fire… I know who killed him detective”
Arjun saw a new ray of hope with Wolf’s words “so when can we meet, its urgent that we talk about this”
Wolf: “well am not in London right now… am in Bradford on a case and won’t return anytime soon and I think it’s we meet rather than talking on the phone about it”
Arjun: “what if I come to visit u there?”
Wolf: “sure lets meet here… I will be waiting for u detective”
After a few more discussion the call was ended and Arjun had planned to travel to Bradford as soon as possible “am coming with u” announced Radhika who had been sitting quietly all this while, Arjun wanted to protest but before he could say a word she spoke “what?… u can crush at my place and I can’t do the same to your mission?… am coming with u and that’s final” Arjun just sighed at her stubborn nature.
The family gathered looking intently at the middle aged astrologer as he did his work their eyes following his every move sharply like hawks “so…?” asked Mala the moment he raised his head from the papers he was studying.
The astrologer shook his head at Mala’s eagerness “u aren’t the one getting married hold your horses woman” Dilip chuckled at his comment but Mala gave him the stink eye and his smiled instantly vanished from his face causing the astrologer to chuckle himself. He turned his laugh into a fake cough seeing Mala’s annoyed face and cleared his throat before talking again “well, the 22nd of September will be perfect for the wedding… two months from today”
“two months!?” screamed Ankush and Priya in unison.
Dilip: “what’s wrong?”
Priya: “it’s too early”
Ankush: “it’s too long… I can’t wait two months to get married”
Everyone laughed at Ankush’s statement causing Priya to turn pink, Ridhima pinched Ankush and reprimanded him to control his mouth. “looks like the girl is not ready to marry u son” commented the astrologer “but if u want I can marry u tomorrow to my daughter of course” he finished his sentence and looked keenly at Ankush who only laughed seeing the frown on Priya’s face at his words.
After a few discussions it was settled, the wedding date had been set, the couple was excited for their union while Mala felt she hadn’t enough time to do all the wedding preparations.
After a five hours long drive Arjun and Radhika had finally arrived at city of Bradford, Arjun suggested that they drove there bcoz he wanted to spend more time with his lady love instead of taking the 30min flight that was easier and bearable. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and they were supposed to meet with Wolf in two hours at a famous local café. They reached the café and boosted their tired bodies with some nice cups of coffee and sandwiches. They waited and waited and after three hours of no sign of Wolf they got a text message from him saying that he would not be able to meet them today but he will tomorrow “what the hell?” said Radhika frustrated when Arjun had finished readin the message to her.
Arjun: “u had yourself volunteered to come so don’t complain” Radhika just rolled her eyes at his patronizing words “let’s check into a hotel for the night and will see about tomorrow”
They were able to check-in into a nice hotel but due to the summer festival taking place in the city many hotels were fully booked so Arjun and Radhika had to share a suite. The butler opened the door of the suite for them and waited for a tip but Arjun and Radhika looked at each other and both having the same idea dashed to the bedroom puzzling the butler “f**king misers” he muttered before closing the door behind him.
“my bed” shouted Radhika as soon as she entered the bedroom but Arjun overtook her and fell on the bed with a thud also announcing that it was his bed “I saw it first” she said.
“I got on it first” he countered.
“but… but… but… am tired” she said again.
“I drove us here, am more tired” he gave back.
“u are the one who wanted to drive insted of flying like a suggested… am a girl and u should be a gentleman by letting me sleep on the bed” she tried again.
“what happened to gender equality, u can have the bed but only the half of it” he stated and laid on his back spreading his arms getting a feel of the bed “quite a soft mattress” he said smiling at her.
Radhika sat on the bed showing her back to him with her arms crossed over her chest exasperated on her loss, a playful smile crept on her face as her mind settled on an idea “If I don’t make u leave the room then Radhika Mishra isn’t my name” she thought and turned to him “okay will share the bed… am going to take a shower first” she told him and picked up a small bag they had bought on the way together with some toiletries and clothes to change into. A half an hour later she came out of the bathroom wearing hotel’s bathrobe that went to her knees. Arjun who hadn’t fallen asleep yet forgot that breathing was essential seeing her like that “the water is so nice” she said while ruffling her handbag looking for something.
She took out a small bottle that Arjun could make out was lotion and placed her right foot on the bed and opened the bottle “what… what… what are u doing?”
Radhika smiled “moisturizing, my secret for a baby smooth skin” and went about her work. Arjun gulped hard as his eyes followed her hands slowly but seductively move on the skin from her toes to her knees leaving him to imagine the rest.
Arjun stretched his t-shirt collar away from his neck allowing more cool air to enter for it was getting hotter and hotter by the second with her antics. Done with the moisturizer she took out a perfume and sprayed a few puffs on her jawline “smells good right?” she said smilingly and walked to his side of the bed. Standing close to his sitting form she asked “want to smell it?” and before he could comprehend her question he saw her leaning in letting his face touch her neck “take it all in don’t be shy” she told him.
Having her so close to him was arousing a million sensations in his body and he was finding it difficult to control himself, he fisted his hands refraining the urge to hold her and pull her down on the bed with him. When his nose came to contact with her soft deliciously smelling skin all he wanted to do was kiss her so hard that all her senses fly away from her but instead he turned his face away “get some clothes on please” he said without looking at her.
Radhika pressed her lips to not laugh at him and spoke “it’s so hot I will sleep without clothes”
Arjun’s eyes widen in shock “u are going sleep on the bed naked?” he screamed.
“no silly, I will have my bikini on” she said.
“but… but… but… u are a girl” he told her.
“what happened to gender equality” she gave back in his own words, she then pretended to open her bathrobe and that was all he could take, he ran out of the bedroom announcing that he will sleep on the couch while Radhika let out her laugh she had muffed all this time and rejoiced over her victory.
London’s Charity Ball
The annual fundraiser was taking place in London, every year the rich and notable people of London would come together and raise funds for different charity organisations that help those oganisations to fulfil their daily noble causes. Lending a helping hand for the needy was the main reason for the ball but unfortunately for years these kinds of balls have also been the occasions where people showcase their fashion forward choices of clothings, who is dating who gossips grounds, who would donate a larger sum of money competition and the craze to present the perfect family image but what to say rich folks and their weird rich tastes. Since Mala, Prena and Piyali run a charity organisations they also each year attended the ball with their family and so they did today.
Neil had found himself stealing glances at his date every now and then, he couldn’t just take his eyes off her. When he went to pick her up at the palace and laid his eyes on her for the first time that night he realised that he hadn’t seen any girl look that beautiful, he even thought she could give an angel a run for her money. Sam dressed in a gorgous white low back gown showing her curves that had a slit from her knee down to her white strap heels had her hair made into perfect curls fall on her left shoulder, her make-up that complemented her her beautiful eyes, her earrings that shone like diamonds made her look like a goddess but Neil thought what made her look more stunning was her attitude.
Sam tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear for the nth time when she felt Neil’s gaze on her, every time he would look at her she felt something jump in her stomach and would become nervous but the second he turned his eyes away she would miss that feeling and would wish to feel that again. Neil on the other hand couldn’t just get enough of her, every time he would look at her he felt she looked more beautiful than before and could to stare at her forever but then he would tell himself that it was rude to stare and turn his face away but automatically his eyes would want to feed on her view again and again and again.
Every table was occupied by four couples, Neil and Sam had chose a table away from their family for they wanted to mingle with other people. After dinner and the donations it was almost time for the dance and the first dance was compulsory was all the guests “would u like to dance with me miss?” said one of the guy they had shared a table with who also had his eyes on Sam all this while and got himself a glare from Neil.
Neil looked sharply at him and then at the girl he was sitting with “if u can’t keep your hands to your partner then better keep them in your pants or else I can chop them and freeze them for u”
Sam looked at him surprisingly where did that possessiveness come from, the guy who was threatened laughed “relax dude, its just dance u can dance with my sister if u want to” he said looking towards his partner.
Neil: “if its just dance then why don’t u dance with your sister?”
Guy: “why are u getting so hyper, who is she to u anyway?”
Neil: “my best friend…my date…my dance partner…my girlfriend…anything else?”
The guy raised his hands showing that he surrendered while Sam looked at Neil not able to define his words and actions. The first dance was announced and all couples went to the dance floor, Sam had both her hands around his neck while he and had his around her waist and they moved their feet to the slow music played “u look really beautiful” he said.
Sam smiled “this is the fifth time tonight u are telling me this”
“bcoz I want u to return the favour and complement me too” he teased.
“why did u lie that am your girlfriend?” she asked and he didnt know why but he didn’t like her calling him a liar.
“u could have told me if u wanted to dance with that jerk, I don’t want to force u to dance with me” he said.
“u didn’t force me but what harm would it be if I danced with him” she explained not wanting to hurt him.
“what are u waiting for then?” he said before leaving her alone on the dance floor and walked out of the party.
“Neil….!?” she called him out bewildered by his action “what the hell is wrong with him?” she wanted to follow him behind but was stopped with the same guy who without a word held her hand and started to dance with her, Neil who felt bad about his behaviour came back but when he saw her dancing with that guy he clenched his teeth angrily seeing his hand on her bare back and left the party again.
Midland Hotel – Bradford
Arjun didn’t just walked out of the bedroom he walked out of the suite itself to get some fresh air his mind was already wayward with the thoughts of her in her bikini laying next to him on the bed but he was sure if he let his emotions out she wil think that he was a pervert and that was way out of options. When he thought he was calm and could face her he went back to the suite, he looked at the two seater sofa he wondered how he would fit his almost six feet body there, he shrugged tiredly “this is going to be a long a night” Few minutes of twisting and turning on the sofa he needed to use the bathroom but the bathroom was in the bedroom and in the bedroom was Radhika who was probably in her bikini fast asleep “what if she is not covered, she did say it was hot… I will close my eyes and not look at her” decision made he took a deep breath and walked to the bedroom.
With his eyes closed he entered, his hands were holding the wall tracing his way towards the bathroom “don’t open your eyes, don’t look on the bed” he reminded himself mentally but her giggles halted his step midway “is she laughing in her dreams?” he thought and turned his head towards the bed and was shocked at the scene. Radhika wearing brown checkered loose pants and a white tank top was laying on her stomach laughing at her laptop screen, she was video chatting with her friend who was making her laugh then it hit him she was purposely messing with him so she could get the whole bed to herself.
Isabel who was video chatting with Radhika saw Arjun standing at the back ad asked Radhika who was he, Radhika turned and saw him standing cooly as if nothing happened and she knew her lie was caught “will talk later Isabel” she closed her laptop and sat on the bed “what are u doing here…u were sleeping on the couch right…?”
Arjun smiled “its too small for me, will share the bed with u but first I need to use the bathroom” Radhika made a pillow wall on the bed marking their each side, Arjun came out of the bathroom and smiled seeing the border she made. She was laying on her side and was looking keenly at his every move, Arjun started to take his t-shirt off and she panicked asking him what was he doing “taking my clothes off, duh” he answered bluntly and she couldn’t help but stare at his bare torso “checking me out?” he asked with a smirk on his face.
Radhika pretended to look everywhere else but at him “what?…no way” turning her gaze back at him she said “what is there to look at anyway…just those abs…and those muscles…and that hot body” he raised his eyebrow at her and she realised what she said and averted her gaze again. The sound of a zipper opening made her look at him again and saw him getting his jeans off “what…what…what..what are u doing?” she asked but when he didn’t pay heed to her she had to look away again.
When she turned he had already changed into a track pant but still had no shirt on and sighed at what she saw “were u expecting something else?” he teased but she just kept quiet she knew it was his time to get back at her “where is your perfume, I forgot how it smelled” he said and jumped on the bed making her squel. He got on top of her caging her in his arms but kept a distance btn them “what was the smell again?” he acted forgetful and before she could answer he nuzzled her neck taking in her scent causing her to shiver with his act “smells good indeed” he said raising his head from the crook of her neck.
Radhika who had her hands on his chest as a barrier btn them was unknowingly moving her hands all over him caressing his toned muscles causing them both to realise their proximity. Arjun lost in her eyes rubbed his thumb over her lips racing both their hearts, his control tossed out of the window he leaned and kissed her on her forehead, he kissed both her eyes and cheeks that were already pink. Her heart threatening to come out of her chest she couldn’t protest and though she couldn’t understand why she loved his kisses and longed for more, her eyes were staring his but his eyes were on her lips, he leaned again aiming her lips and she closed her eyes waiting to feel his lips on hers, she waited and waited and waited but nothing happened she opened her one eye but he was not there any more.
Laying on his back he composed himself, he turned to his right after some minutes of silence and looked at her and she was busy staring at the ceiling “goodnight Radhika” he said.
“goodnight” she answered and turned aside showing her back to him but sleep won’t catch a cagey any time soon.
Sam walked out of the party as soon as the first dance ended, she didn’t want to spoil her parent’s night so left without telling them, Neil had left with his car and she had no ride home so he called Magdalene asking her to send a car for her. Not wanting to wait outside the banquet hall she started slowly on the streets and when she reached a more deserted place she realised that she had made a mistake by coming out alone that late at night. She had started to walk back when she felt a hand on her shoulder and jumped scared “don’t u dare touch…” she stopped mid sentence with her warning seeing Neil but she was still mad at the way he behaved with her earlier and walked off without a word.
“am sorry” he said to her back making her halt her steps and turn back “am sorry for being a jerk” he added making her smile.
“forgiven” she said causing him to smile too “would u care for a dance?” she asked forwarding her hand to him.
“I would love to” he answered and turned on the radio in his car that was parked aside, taking her hand in his they danced on a romantic slow song that swept them away into a world they never stepped into before and as the song came to an end they were holding each other close swaying left and right smiling at each other.
It could be the song or its lyrics, it could be the way she looked or the way he looked at her, it could be the lone street or the fact that they were alone Neil couldn’t restrain himself any longer and found himself kissing her. Just out of nowhere he leaned in and placed a chaste kiss on her lips shocking them both, he found her lips mushy and tasted like strawberries while she thought his were soft and warm, when he wanted to move back he felt her lips slightly moving breaking the little courage he had mastered to create distance btn them. Eyes closed, hearts racing, feet frozen and their moving hands, the night was calm and silent but their lips spoke their own language that brought butterflies in their stomach and they kissed until it was difficult to breathe so they moved apart to catch their breaths. Now that they saw each other they understood what they did “what have I done?” they both thought and before one of them could explain what took place Sam’s ride arrived and she left or more like ran to the car.
Midland Hotel – Bradford
It was afternoon already and they hadn’t heard from Wolf yet, what happened last night was not talked about at all, Radhika didn’t think it was important, she had convinced herself it was all in a moment and she was the one who started teasing him so he teased her too and it didn’t mean anything to him nor to her. While they were discussing their next move they received a message from Wolf asking to meet them at the hotel’s restaurant in an hour so they got ready each at a time for the meeting.
They got to the restaurant which was in the garden area and had few people and were directed towards a table. Bryan Wolf, 6ft tall man in his late 50s wearing faded blue jeans and blue polo shirt was munching on his salad and smiled when he saw them, he extended his hands to both of them and they shook hands, after a small introduction they all sat around the table to talk “sorry about yesterday, wanted to make sure u were not followed” he said before stuffing a fork with salad in his mouth.
Arjun nodded in understanding “so do u know who killed Amrish Khanna?”
“straight to the topic,huh?… I like that” he said before finishing the rest of the salad on the plate.
Arjun: “Radhika was attacked recently and I think its connected to Amrish’s murder”
Wolf thought for a second and spoke “if the killer is who I think it is then there shouldn’t be any more murders let alone an attack”
Arjun: “I don’t any other reason than being Amrish’s heir that can make her a target”
Wolf: “but there are two heirs, the company has two presidents right?…was the other president attacked as well?” Arjun nodded negative and cursed himself for not thinking about that angle “Mr. Khanna had hired me to find someone he was suspecting that the person in question was responsible for the crisis his company was threatened to go through”
Arjun and Radhika were surprised, they didn’t know the company had any problem “who is that person?” asked Arjun.
Wolf: “Jagath Sareen”
Radhika: “and who is that?”
Wolf: “Jagath Sareen was one of your grandfather’s old friend…he is dead…he died years ago but Mr. Khanna wanted me to find out about his family…where were they and how where they”
Arjun: “and what did u find out?”
“I… I… I found out that…” Wolf started to cough, his throat had suddenly gone dry and he was trying to catch his breath, Radhika gave him a glass of water he extended his hand to hold the glass but his fingers lost strength and he couldn’t form a grip around the glass and lifelessly crushed on the table. He was sweating profusely and looked disoriented as if he was intoxicated and his lips diverged from each other when he was making the effort to talk.
“Mr. Wolf are u okay?” asked Arjun panic vivid in his tone.
“OMG he is having a heart attack” said Radhika and took her phone out calling for an ambulance, her hands trembling over her cellphone screen.
Wolf looked at them, he could hear them clearly, he saw the concern in their eyes and it was not because they didn’t get the infromation they came for but bcoz they were actually worried him. He wanted to speak to them but his throat didn’t support him, his hands were powerless, he couldn’t even make his lips move, he was trapped in his own body.
People had gathered to their table, Arjun looked at a worried Radhika and then back at Wolf who was trying to tell him something, he was trying to give him a hint. He started to analyze the situation in his mind, dry throat, sweating, dizziness, muscle paralysis then like a thousands bricks falling on his head it hit him “he is poisoned” he shouted, no sooner had those words left his mouth Wolf lost his battle and died right before their eyes.
The dead body was taken to the hospital under the surveillance of the local police while Arjun questioned the hotel staff. The manager told him that they had CCTV cameras in their kitchen and that it was impossible for any of his chefs to poison the food. When the waiter who served Wolf was asked he said he didn’t do anything, he just took the plate from the kitchen and brought it to the table but before that he left the plate on the counter when helping a male customer find his way to the bathroom but he couldn’t remember how he looked like just that he was young and wasn’t English.
The hotel manager who was also question by the police jumped up from his chair when the local police were gathering things for the investigation “this is not our plate” he screamed pointing at the plate Wolf was served his salad on “all our plates have our hotel logo at the back and this doesn’t” he added and when the police checked they realised that it was the truth.
Taste Farm Offices
Tina was finishing her work for the day, it was already late in the evening so she was rushing things to leave before it gets dark. She was surprised to see Jai coming in at that hour and followed him to his cabin “what are u doing here at this hour and where were u all day?” she asked the moment she entered his cabin.
“had things to do” he answered while taking his suit jacket off and hung it on his chair.
She walked up to his chair and straightened his jacket, while doing so some paper fell out of his jacket, she picked them up and read them “u were in Bradford?” she asked showing him the boarding pass she found in his jacket.
“yes” he answered bluntly working on his laptop.
“but why?” she asked again.
“had some unfinished business there but all is taken care of now” he answered.
She sighed and walked back to the door “Ankush and Priya are getting married into two months”
“okay” he said.
“did u know?” she shot another question.
“mmh” he mumbled.
“wanna have dinner sometime?” she asked nervously.
“sure” he said.
“really!?” she exclaimed.
Jai closed his laptop and picked his jacket “lets have dinner tonight” he said and Tina couldn’t be happier.
Its been a week since Bryan Wolf’s death, traces of a poisonous wild flower called hemlock were found in his stomach and so his death was declared as a homicide. Arjun was back to square one with the case and also with his relationship with Radhika what happened in Bradford stayed in Bradford. Neil and Sam were also sailing in the same boat they were back to being just friends who didn’t talk more than hello, thank u and goodbye.
They met again on another Sunday at the penthouse for a friends outing, they were ready and about to leave when an uninvited guest showed up. A lady dressed in all black with a grieved expression on her face came in “am Elisa Wolf, Bryan Wolf’s widow and secretary”
Radhika: “am really sorry for your loss madam”
Elisa took out a A4 size grey envelope from her purse “last night Bryan’s office was vandalised… somebody stole Jagath Sareen file”
Arjun: “but I asked u about the file and u said u didn’t have it”
Elisa: “am sorry I lied but I had to make sure u were the right person to hand over the file to” forwarding the envelope to him “here are the initial results of his investigation” Arjun took the envelope and Elisa took her leave.
They opened the envelope and found an old picture where four young men who looked close to each other standing before a building that appear to be a small factory and fainted words that spelled Taste Farm could be seen on a holding attached to the building. On the back of the photo the names of the men were written Amrish Khanna, Prateik Malhotra, Balraj Mehra and Jagath Sareen. They also found an old newspaper clipping that had a story of four young friends of Indian origin finding success in their own food company that they named Taste Farm and again the same four names were mentioned and by now it was clear Taste Farm had four and not three co-founders as their grandfathers had told them. There was also a copy of marriage certificate of Jagath Sareen and Ruby Mitchelson together with some of the wedding photos that had the other three friends with their respective wives in it and one picture that showed Ruby to be pregnant and the last piece of information was Jagath Sareen’s death certificate and the police report that stated he died by falling down the stairs while working in the factory.
Neil: “if the company had four co-founders then the other three must have defrauded their partner bcoz if Sareen’s heir were to turn up today he or she would have absolutely no right over the company… there is no trace of Sareen’s participation in any of the company’s documents”
“so its a revenge saga” Arjun said “Jagath and Ruby’s child might be out for revenge”
Sam: “but u were sure the murderer is someone from the family?”
Arjun: “I am myself confused”
Radhika: “but nanaji was murdered at the party and we only invited friends, employees and those close to the family… how did an outsider gain access to the palace?”
Neil: “infiltration, the enemy must be very close to us… may be a friend or an employee… someone very close to us”
Sam: “does that mean we are all in danger?”
Arjun: “one thing doesn’t make sense to me… so the murderer killed Wolf bcoz he knew who the killer is and later stole any evidence that can help us to get to him or her but didn’t know that Wolf’s wife had information, thats fine… but how did the murderer know that Wolf had the information or that he was in Bradford and we were going to meet him?… as far as I know that information was btn the us”
Radhika: “Trudeau… Trudeau knew about Wolf he was the one who helped me find him on the first place… maybe he also found out where he was”
Sam: “Ruby Mitchelson was English maybe Trudeau looks like his mother so dadaji never suspected him”
Neil: “Trudeau was also present at the party”
Arjun: “Trudeau… Joseph Trudeau”
Precap: Trudeau investigated, Prena’s confession, Tina-Jai get close and Radhika gets a surprise.
So how was it?